Dubai’s crazy rotating wind-powered skyscraper is actually being built

February 21, 2017 by  
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The modern world is full of unique, eye-catching buildings – but an upcoming Dubai skyscraper is about to put a new spin on the field of architecture. We’ve reported before on Israeli-Italian architect David Fisher ‘s crazy rotating Dynamic Tower – and now it looks like the 1,375-foot-tall high-rise is finally becoming a reality. Solar panels will be installed on the roof, and 48 individual wind turbines will be hidden in between the floors to provide power. According to the architect, the building will generate up to 10 times more energy than it will use. Proposed by Fisher almost a full decade ago, the project was supposed to break ground in 2010, but was put on hold due to planning obstructions and design changes. Now, seven year later, it looks like the project has finally been given the green light. https://youtu.be/jEYZ-ylelbg The Dynamic Tower will have 80 floors that are capable of rotating a full 360 degrees, letting tenants and hotel guests select their own personal views via voice command. However, even more impressive than the unique twisting feature is the project’s sustainability profile – the entire building will be powered by sun and wind energy. The apartments will offer the ultimate in luxury living – at a staggering price tag of 30 million dollars. The “beyond star rating” building will offer swimming pools, garden space, a fitness center, and even a car lift that transports cars outside individual residences. + David Fisher Via Mirror Images via David Fisher/Dynamic Architecture

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Dubai’s crazy rotating wind-powered skyscraper is actually being built

Wind power could supply 20% of global electricity by 2030

October 19, 2016 by  
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Although solar power gets more press, the wind power industry is growing nearly as fast . The (GWEC) released an historic report Tuesday in Beijing, saying 20 percent of the world’s total electricity could come from wind by as early as 2030 . With last year’s Paris climate deal as a strong motivating factor, the group predicts the world’s total wind power capacity could grow by nearly five times over the next 14 years, reaching as much as 2,110 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. The GWEC report outlines that, although not cheap, the long-term benefits of wind power infrastructure will begin paying off immediately. The GWEC estimates an annual investment of $224 billion would be required globally in order to grow the wind power industry to its potential capacity. Meanwhile, 2,110GW of clean, renewable wind energy would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 3.6 billion tons each year. Related: 5 Things the Paris climate deal must do to slow global warming China has been an unlikely leader in the wind power industry, boosting its capacity by 17 percent last year over 2014 figures for a total of 433GW. Chinese leaders still plan to add 60GW before the end of this year. Despite the increased capacity, China is still struggling to create ways to utilize that renewable energy efficiently. In July, China’s energy regulator said 21 percent of all wind-generated electricity was wasted in the first half of this year, due in large part to new coal-fired power plants which make it more difficult for wind power to reach the grid. Chinese leaders did pledge earlier in the year to shutter 1,000 coal mines , which many took as a sign of the beginning of the end of fossil fuel use there, but the battle between coal and wind rages on. China, and many other places on the planet, will have to improve their grid infrastructure in order to take full advantage of plentiful wind energy. The energy regulator said that more than 40 percent of the wasted power occurred in regions of China that are already underserved by the grid, clearly illustrating how the failure is on the part of the infrastructure and not the nearly infinite potential of renewable energy . While government leaders can work to reduce reliance on fossil fuels in finite supply, they must also work to improve the infrastructure that allows residents to reap the benefits of the wind. Via Reuters Images via Pixabay , Bill Badzo/Flickr and Wendell/Flickr

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Wind power could supply 20% of global electricity by 2030

Tiny two-pound Micro Wind Turbine folds up just like an umbrella

September 21, 2016 by  
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While scaled-up renewable energy plants can generate a great deal of energy , there’s a huge demand for smaller devices in off-grid, remote, or harsh locations. Designer Nils Ferber created a Micro Wind Turbine that works as well on a blustery mountaintop as it does in a backyard garden, and can charge smartphones via a USB port on the turbine . Weighing around two pounds, the Micro Wind Turbine folds up like an umbrella and can be easily transported. https://vimeo.com/174336941 Ferber’s Micro Wind Turbine unfolds along a telescopic shaft, popping out into a tiny turbine that ” produces a constant output of five watts at a windspeed of 18 kilometers per hour .” An “integrated battery pack” with a 24 watt-hour capacity can store the energy, or users can charge a device directly through a USB port right on the turbine. The blades are made of sturdy fabric and can capture wind energy blowing from any direction. Related: Insane Screwdriver-Powered EX Vehicle Rockets You Headfirst Through the Streets The Micro Wind Turbine works where solar panels tend to struggle, such as cloudy locations where sunlight is infrequent or at night. It’s designed for outdoor explorers, filmmakers, climbers, scientists, and even rescue workers who adventure or labor in extreme locations where there’s not as much easy access to power. Its slight frame won’t add much to the gear or equipment a person is already packing; at around two pounds it is ” 40 percent lighter than the closest competitor ,” according to Ferber. He tested the Micro Wind Turbine in the Swiss Alps, demonstrating its effectiveness in very windy weather. While the initial Micro Wind Turbine works for just one person, Ferber says the turbine is “easily scaleable.” According to his James Dyson Award page , he is searching for partners to develop the wind turbine into a marketable product. + Nils Ferber Via Treehugger Images via Christian Holweck , Jagoda Wisniewska , and Nils Ferber

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Tiny two-pound Micro Wind Turbine folds up just like an umbrella

ENR2 is the largest project in Arizona to earn a LEED Platinum certification

September 21, 2016 by  
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The 151,000-square-foot ENR2 building is an addition to the UA campus with three other LEED-certified buildings – the Student Recreation Center expansion, the Árbol de la Vida Residence Hall and Likins Hall. It houses interactive and shared learning spaces, boosting productivity and collaboration. Related: University of Arizona’s Breakthrough Telescope Solar Panel Doubles Efficiency Thanks to an efficient water usage and rainwater harvesting system , the building reduced the amount of water used annually by 40 percent. It can capture up to 260,000 gallons of rainwater each year. A underground storage and filtration tank provides water for irrigation . Related: The Hestia Project Maps the Carbon Emissions of US Cities Down to Street Level “The LEED platinum certification for ENR2 is great news for those of us who teach or research on the environment because it shows that we try to practice what we preach in terms of workplace sustainability,” said Diana Liverman, co-director of the UA’s Institute of the Environment. + The University of Arizona Via UA News Photos by Liam Frederick

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ENR2 is the largest project in Arizona to earn a LEED Platinum certification

Unique meditation pavilion in the Netherlands generates its own mist

September 21, 2016 by  
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The Meditation Pavilion and Garden were designed to cultivate a tranquil atmosphere and harness the calming potential of water. The enclosed volume spreads from bank to bank and draws the water inside to blur the line between the interior and exterior space. It houses changing rooms and a bathroom at the west end, and a summer kitchen and storage at the opposite side. Related: Tiny Meditation Pavilion Sits Ever-So-Quietly Amidst Vermont’s Green Mountains The steel-framed structure features movable partitions that slide to open and close the middle part of the pavilion. Most of the exterior is defined by vertical ash wood slats that make the volume seem permeable. Skylights add natural light to the interior and partly illuminate the water. + GMAA – GM Architectes Associés Via Dezeen

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Unique meditation pavilion in the Netherlands generates its own mist

Obama administration aims for 86 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2050

September 12, 2016 by  
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Could the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines of the United States one day look like the North Sea with thousands of wind turbines generating gigawatts of clean, renewable electricity? The US has a long way to go to catch up with Europe’s nearly 12 GW of installed offshore wind capacity. But if the Obama administration’s new offshore wind plan is fully implemented, by 2050 the US would blow Europe’s current capacity out of the water with 86 gigawatts of offshore wind — enough emissions-free electricity to power more than 23 million homes. The report states that there is a “technical potential” of an astounding 2,058 GW of offshore wind in US waters – enough to provide nearly double the total electric generation of the entire country. The National Offshore Wind Strategy – part of the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan – builds on the momentum of the country’s first offshore wind farm , which was completed last month. The Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island will soon be generating 30 megawatts of electricity from five turbines – enough to power 17,000 homes. US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visited the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Wind Technology Testing Center in Boston on Friday to announce that the federal government will be increasing efforts to develop offshore wind as part of the administration’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris climate agreement. Related: European wind energy is now cheaper than nuclear power “Today’s collaborative strategic plan is part of a long-term commitment to support innovation that enables widespread offshore wind deployment and shows how offshore wind will benefit our country with new jobs, less pollution, and a more diversified electricity mix,” Moniz said in a statement. According to the report, fully implementing the offshore wind plan would support 160,000 jobs, reduce power sector water consumption by 5 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.8 percent. Generating 86 GW of offshore wind by 2050 would also make up 14 percent of the projected demand for new electricity generation in the coastal and Great Lakes states. Last year, the Interior department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management awarded 11 commercial leases for offshore wind development off the Atlantic coast. There are also plans for the nation’s first freshwater offshore wind farm in Lake Erie near Cleveland, and offshore wind is currently being considered for California and Hawaii. Mitigating climate change and reducing air pollution aren’t the only benefits of offshore wind. According to Stanford University Professor Mark Jacobson, founder of The Solutions Project, a plan to power the world with 100 percent renewable energy, offshore wind farms can potentially weaken hurricane winds and reduce storm surge. + National Offshore Wind Strategy Via Grist Images via Ad Meskens and Wikimedia

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Obama administration aims for 86 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2050

Plumens new LED bulb is designed to make you look more beautiful

September 12, 2016 by  
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Unveiled after five years in the making, the hanging Plumen 003 light bulb combines two lights into one: a focused, direct light below and a flattering, diffused sidelight. HULGER, Claire Norcross, and Marie-Laure Giroux designed the bulb, drawing inspiration from Danish designer Poul Henningsen’s PH lamp, created in 1925. Like the PH lamp, which combined elements of kerosene oil lamps and electrical bulbs, Plumen 003 seeks to combine the warmth of an incandescent bulb with the energy efficiency of LEDs. Related: Plumen Unveils Gorgeous Glowing Oak Installation at the London Design Festival “ Sustainable design often lacks sex appeal – LED bulbs being no exception,” said Plumen creative director Nicolas Roope. “We decided that to attract customers to this new technology we needed to create an efficient light bulb that was also inspiring and beautiful in its own right.” In addition to its beautiful design, the luxurious Plumen 003 is engineered to reduce glare and heat. The Plumen 003 light bulb is estimated to last for 10,000 hours and is available for preorder with delivery in November. + Plumen Via Dezeen Images via Plumen

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Plumens new LED bulb is designed to make you look more beautiful

The country’s largest wind farm is coming to New York

July 15, 2016 by  
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The largest offshore wind farm in the US could be coming soon to New York , if the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) approves the project as expected next week. The project will be set 30 miles east of Montauk, and it will have 15 turbines and a capacity of 90 megawatts. That’s three times larger than the only other offshore wind project currently under construction in the US ( off the coast of Rhode Island ). Both wind farms are backed by Deepwater Wind , which plans to eventually build a string of turbines stretching between along the East Coast generating 1,000 megawatts of power. The Long Island project alone will generate enough power for 50,000 homes on Long Island, and it’s one of the key components of Governor Cuomo’s plan to make 50% of New York City’s energy renewable in the next 15 years. Deepwater Wind will own the turbines , and plans to sell the power to LIPA at a rate that has yet to determined. It’s expected that the utility will reach an agreement with the company early next year. The site for the project has been in the hands of the developers since 2013, and all the initial marine surveys needed for construction have already been completed. That means that construction can begin right away, with power reaching customers as early as 2022 . Related: America’s first offshore wind farm to be completed by the end of this year While this may be a huge accomplishment in terms of renewable energy for the US, the project pales in comparison to some of the wind farms in Europe . There are many operations already generating hundreds of megawatts of power, and a massive wind farm currently in development will generate 700 megawatts and power a million homes in the Netherlands. + Deepwater Wind Via Environment New York Images via NHD-INFO and Kim Hansen

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The country’s largest wind farm is coming to New York

Escape city life in a lux off-grid cabin that can pop up almost anywhere

July 15, 2016 by  
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? Designed and produced by a team of architecture students-turned-entrepreneurs, the Ark Shelter was created to bring back people “back to basics” and into nature. Clad in durable timber for a cozy feel, each cabin is prefabricated off-site in a factory and then craned into place on raised, mobile foundations. Its modular architecture can be easily customized and expanded from its basic 9-square-meter workspace module to a fully livable space with a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and a living room. Related: Stunning Moon Dragon is a fairytale-like tiny house that goes off-grid ? The self-sufficient structure is equipped with wind turbines and rainwater collection systems, while natural light streams through folding glazed doors to minimize dependence on artificial light and embrace panoramic views of the outdoors. There’s no word on price on the website; interested parties will have to contact the design team directly. All Ark Shelters are delivered fully furnished, from custom timber furnishings to the bed linens. + Ark Shelter Via Architizer Images via Ark Shelter

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Escape city life in a lux off-grid cabin that can pop up almost anywhere

Vestas shakes up wind power with a 12-blade turbine tower

July 6, 2016 by  
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It’s expensive to transport wind turbines , which adds to the cost of wind power . Seeking to bring those costs down, Danish wind turbine company Vestas decided to tack on more rotors to get the most out of a turbine tower. They’re currently testing a multi-rotor design at the Technical University of Denmark that has four rotors and 12 blades. The company announced earlier this month on Facebook that their new turbine generated its first kilowatt hour (kWh) of power. The multi-rotor turbine doesn’t have the three blades typical on most wind turbines, but 12. The turbine being tested has a ” tip height ” of 74 meters, or around 242 feet, because the testing site restricts tip height to 75 meters. Vestas is using 1990’s refurbished nacelles (or the covers for ” working parts ” of the wind turbine) to explore the concept. Related: Giant turbine blades could bring exponential growth to U.S. wind power market One potential drawback of the multi-rotor design is that if one component breaks or stops functioning, Vestas would have to make rapid adjustments so the rest of the turbine could offset the flaw. Real-time monitoring would be therefore crucial. CleanTechnica speculates that could be why the company is using refurbished parts rather than creating new parts for the new multi-rotor turbine. In their Facebook post announcing the first kWh, Senior Specialist, Electrical, Load & Control Erik Carl Lehnskov Miranda said they planned to keep testing ” various software functions .” Vestas added, “…by 2020 as much as 10 percent of the world’s electricity consumption will be satisfied by energy from the wind … [and] we have the confidence to say that wind power is an industry on par with coal and gas.” Via CleanTechnica Images courtesy of Vestas Wind Systems A/S

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Vestas shakes up wind power with a 12-blade turbine tower

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